DC's Stargirl creator/executive producer Geoff Johns teased just how big of an impact Eclipso and The Shade will have on the second season of The CW's Stargirl, and now we're learning who will be taking on those roles when one of the newest additions to the Arrowverse (mini-multiverse, remember?). Nick Tarabay (The Expanse) has been tapped for the series regular role of Eclipso, while Jonathan Cake (The Affair) will recur as The Shade (with Project Mc2's Ysa Penarejo set to recur as an undisclosed DC character (based on exclusive reporting from Deadline Hollywood).
Tarabay's Eclipso is a life essence trapped inside a blue diamond, an ancient entity of corruption and vengeance. Brimming with cold, terrifying darkness, he exploits the flaws of others, reveling in the impure and sinful, sadistically feeding off the dark side of humanity. Cake's The Shade is an English immortal who wields magical shadow powers. Tall and slim with an elegant 19th Century way to his speech and manners, he masks the horrors he's experienced and people he's lost in all the time alive with wry, witty retorts, and a false sense that nothing really matters- a classic anti-hero in every sense of the word.
Johns headed into this month's New York Comic Con-Metaverse with series stars Brec Bassinger (Courtney Whitmore aka Stargirl), Yvette Monreal ( Yolanda Montez aka Wildcat II), Anjelika Washington (Beth Chapel aka Doctor Mid-Nite II), Cameron Gellman (Rick Tyler aka Hourman II), and Meg DeLacy (Cindy Burman aka Shiv) to break down a number of the first season's key moments while also offering a behind-the-scenes perspective on how the series made it to air.
But it wasn't all about looking to the past, not with work underway on the series' second season- a season that Johns says will see them facing off against a "big bad" unlike any other: Eclipso. "I'm so excited for Eclipso. He's so terrifying. I've always loved the character," explained Johns. "He's a very different antagonist or villain than the ISA. We're just starting to cast him, so we're looking for that. And I've got these wonderful designs from [costume designer] L.J. Shannon on what he's going to look like. But it's such a different, darker, scarier threat."
Johns went on to offer a little more insight into who (or what) it is that's inside Cindy's black diamond. "The thing inside it, this entity that's trapped, is this ancient being that feeds off humanity's own sins and grief and fear and darkness," he revealed. "It has been there for a long, long time and is aching to do what he does and feed off the darkness within humanity. It's going to take a lot to confront it, and it's going to take the JSA and every one of our wonderful characters to a place that's going to be tough for them to explore."
But what fun would there be with only one "big bad" next season when you can have two- especially one that tends to be a bit "shady," shall we say? "We're going to see a lot of the Shade," Johns revealed. "He's another main character that's going to be coming into season 2. He's a pretty famous and popular character from James Robinson's run on Starman… He's an immortal that's been around for hundreds of years. He's a member of the ISA… and he was the only member of the ISA who wasn't present in Blue Valley today, but we saw him when the shadow hand grabbed Dr. Mid-Nite in the opening of the pilot."
Though he may prefer to stay in the background, for now, Johns stresses that the Shade isn't someone Courtney and the new JSA should underestimate for a second. "As Pat [Luke Wilson] will tell Courtney at some point, he's the most powerful of them all," he explains. "He's very threatening because no one knows exactly what he wants. But we'll be playing a lot with the Shade."
Also, those still-unclaimed items that Courtney still has that haven't found their proper "home" yet? Johns says that those will come into play during the season, and will factor into Courtney realizing that there are some things in all of this she can't control. Like the return of Sylvester Pemberton (Joel McHale) for example? That would be one of those things, with Johns confirming that viewers will get some clarity during the second-season premiere.